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Lucian Freud: 1996-2005 Hardcover – November 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Well into his ninth decade, the painter Lucian Freud (grandson of Sigmund) not only shows no signs of slowing down, he hasn't even adopted a signature "late style." Although most of the paintings and drawings in this marvelous collection are characteristically concerned with the human body, the painter's dogs are frequently (and vividly) present; there are a number of landscapes (including an evocative Constable tribute); and his portraits include a number that are focused very tightly on the face. These portraits—very small scale, and with an exaggeration of detail that miraculously avoids caricature—culminate in Freud's controversial portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. A charming photograph records her sitting for the painting—the artist looks away from his tiny canvas while the monarch regards him with a look of wry amusement. The final portrait captures not only the queen's regal hauteur but also the defiance of a tough old granny whose life has been far from easy. This broad sympathy for the ways in which experience marks our faces and bodies has deepened in Freud—if he is "mellowing" at all it is toward an interest in character as strong as his interest in the flesh that contains it. The reproductions are of unusually high quality—Freud's highly worked and pebbled surfaces seem to stand out from the page. (Nov. 17)
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From Booklist

Some critics call Freud the only significant realist painter around these days, which surely must give untutored viewers of his work pause. Oh, yes, Freud's garden paintings are all very nice, what with their variety of painterly manners, from sharp delineation of leaves to impressionistic conjuring of compound flowers; their ambiguous perspective, in which perceived depth oscillates as it does to the eye in bright, outdoor light; and their all-over compositional feel, akin to that of Jackson Pollock canvases. And the horse and dog studies, with their sense of true relaxation, are unsentimentally appealing. But the portraits and more-often-than-not-nude figure paintings--the bulk of his most celebrated work? One could be forgiven for thinking them off-puttingly blotchy and lumpy, and, in the nudes, too naked. Thus, it is very fortunate that these pictures are so incisively introduced here by Sebastian Smee, calling attention to their allusions, the implications of their brushwork and impasto, and Freud's hopes for his achievement in them. One can look again--and start to really see. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307262987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307262981
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 1 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,764,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are many books about the works of British artist Lucian Freud, one of the better of which is the one by William Feaver that accompanied an exhibition of his works, but this new release is important in more ways than one. Now in his 80s Freud has not changed his subject matter (face portraits, large scale nudes alone and with company, dogs, the occasional landscape) nor has he altered his technique which leans toward thick impasto and palette knife and scrubble manipulations.

What does seem to be changing as Freud continues to stare at his bulky and usually unattractive models is his emphasis on the mindset of the sitter. No longer are we seeing a long procession of similar faces but instead we are seeing eye engagement suggesting something about the history of the sitter. Freud is a serious painter, but one with a caustic wit. The face portrait of Queen Elizabeth is layers and layers of white pigment built as though preparing a clown's makeup and garnished with the requisite royal jewels, but the end product is not a regal queen but a rather frumpy, old tired relic of a monarch. Not flattering, but realistic in a way that only history will fully appreciate as an important statement within a portrait.

The accompanying text is informative and probing, but the emphasis here is on the paintings - and there are many in this generous book, both as full scale and captured details. If you are eager to see what Freud has done since his major touring exhibition, this is the definitive resource. Grady Harp, November 05
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tanis on August 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I feel that "Lucian Freud" is the greatest British painter of the 1990's. He makes me confront nakedly the truth of our bodies, and perhaps that is where his greatness lies. He is a great painter of the flesh, which he seems to visualize with an objective intensity that reminds me of a scientist and his microscope, or even, perhaps, a pathologist and their scalpel.
This book of art is like a tribute to the capacity of the eye truly to look and of the hand truly to transcribe what is seen. All artists strive to achieve this, but few succeed.
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By Kamala on January 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book in A1 ++++++ condition. Can't believe my luck I have seen this book sell for as much as $700 used. I really lucked out to find this impeccable ex library book for $20. It's not every day you get a deal but this was a deal.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ken Lam on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is definitely one of the best books on Freud's paintings. The reproductions are excellent. I highly recommend.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Llewellyn Skye on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Love it! Fantastic pictures...hey, Im all about the visuals! Beautiful book, will be treasured for a life time!
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